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Overhauling the British Soldier's kit
A lighter, faster, and hi-tech infrantry is the new objective of the UK's Ministry of Defense (MOD), which have already started replacing the equipment the British soldiers are using in the battlefield. There are several components in modernising the British forces, ranging from the FIST, the sniper system, FRES Combat vehicles, and now the PECOC or Personal Equipment and Common Operational Clothing which will replace the Combat 95 system.
If you have noticed that the Multi Terrain Pattern (MTP), a camouflage pattern that is a modified Crye Precision Multicam pattern, is now being issued to the soldiers, replacing the Disruptive Pattern Material (DPM) which has so well served the services. Now, they are now looking into the other systems carried by the fighting soldier.
The PECOC is conceptualised as a modular system that covers ballistic and sensory protecion, load carrying, sleeping systems, and foot and hand protection (boots and gloves). The OPSREY bulletproof vest will be maintained but further enhanced by making it thinner without compromising the protection it offers, with the objective of making it comfortable. Depending on the mission requirements, soldiers can easily reconfigure their equipment.
The PEOCOC is slated to be used fully in service in 2012. In 2008 QinetiQ won the assessment phase of the PECOC program, results of which are a proposal for a modular system for the program.
The photo above shows the Future, Present, and Past implementations of equipment of the soldiers. The future shows a "motorcycle" helmet type that has lighting and communications included. The L129A1 also known as the LEI LM7 7.62mm rifle, now known affectionately as the "Sharpshooter" will become a mainstay. The Sharpshooter is rapidly being distributed to British forces in Afghanistan due to the need of a longer range and accurate weapon which the LEI won after bidding and competition to win the contract, in which the FN SCAR lost this time. Since fighting in Afghanistan is much more conducted in longer ranges as compared to CQB situations in Iraq the L129A1 fits the bill.